Jojo and DJ are two friends who use music to help navigate through the life lessons they are learning everyday. They celebrate their friendships and family, and they help other kids make sense of a world that presents new opportunities and challenges every day. They sing to their peers about issues that may otherwise be taken for granted. They advocate understanding, supporting one another and embracing each other’s differences.
That is the premise of the new children’s book “Jamming with Jojo and DJ” and its companion full-length album titled “Block Party.” On the record, Jojo and DJ are joined by their friends ‘Proverbs 226 Friends’ for 10 tracks of fun, support and learning. Their songs deal with issues that kids face everyday but may not otherwise have the tools with which to cope.They sing of knowing when to walk away from peer pressure, when to apologize and how to be kind to others.
The album opens with the cool Caribbean vibes of the song “My Friends.” Organic and electronic elements lay down a nice reggae groove as DJ sings the praises of his friends. It is a perfect introduction to a record that takes its music as seriously as it does the lessons it teaches. “Love n Unity” follows. Jojo delivers an R&B-infused Pop ballad with a positive message riffing on the theme of the song’s title.
“Ice Cream Anthem ” is an aptly titled song on which the Proverbs 226 Friends declare their appreciation for everyone’s favorite desert over an Electro-Pop beat with a Latin flair. “Danger is No Fun” then takes ‘Block Party’ into some experimental terrain. The track pairs a rhythmically and melodically sophisticated vocal arrangement with swirling strings, ambient synths and some creative sampling. Here and throughout the album, the producers respect their audience by remaining age appropriate without pandering.
They keep it stylistically fresh as well, from the apologetic acoustic “Sorry” to the Pop/Trap ballad “Be Kind.” Tracks like “Believe” and “The Zoo ” even introduce some nice Afro-Pop rhythms. The friends teach respect for women on the funky Indie-Pop “Girls Girls,” and they tackle the difficult subject of losing a loved one on “A Grandma’s Love.”
“Block Party” by Jojo, DJ and their friends is a smart and thoughtful record. The team teaches without preaching and they treat their audience with respect. Check out the album in its entirety below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. Follow the links below to connect, and get your copy of “Jamming with Jojo and DJ.”